Monday, 22 June 2009

Allotmenticity - 22-06-09 Aston FM Sod It Grow Your Own

Another Monday morning and another 5 minutes of "Sod It" with Gary. He wasn't too well today, but the trooper he is he still made it into the studio. 6 am start when you're feeling bad is no joke.

Thought I'd do a bit of research on watering houseplants. Does anyone have any other great ideas?

Forgot to mention whilst talking about deflowering herbs (Oooh can I say that???) that a great use for all the stuff you cut off, especially Rosemary & Sage is put them on the BBQ. Gives a nice fragrant smoky flavour.

I managed to get to the Raspberries before the birds and had a tasty bowl of Muesli yesterday.

I've got a net on the Strawberry bath, so they can't get at them!

The first Courgette is growing well and should be hitting the griddle any day soon.

The first of the Garlic is slightly disappointing as some are going mouldy round the stem. They're the thick neck variety and seem to suffer from being too damp. The soft neck ones look alot better. Still the ones I've got so far taste amazing. Evidently they're known as "Wet" Garlic because the skin hasn't dried yet.

First of the Broad Beans soon and Peas. The Cos Lettuce are really tasty and good to grow in my plastic trays. I'm following on with some Rocket as I empty the trays.

There's a neighbour called "Moses" who has given me some Kalaloo. It's amazing, I've had 2 goes and failed dismally and he just sprinkles the seed on the soil and he's got loads!!!

I think we're a good 2 weeks behind my friends "Down South" but it's certainly getting warmer.

Could be a Barbie on Wednesday.

So there it is, I think Lewis Hamilton's got his car in REVERSE or maybe there's too much attention on the Pussy Cat Doll!

The Beetroot soup is a lovely change especially chilled on a hot day.


The Captain.

Igor Romanoff’s Aunt Irena’s Borsch

Igor tells me that his Aunt would make this for the family back in Russia.

It’s equally good served hot in winter, or ice-cold in summer.

It might seem a little complicated, but it’s worth the effort!

Ingredients for 4-6 people

2 pints Beef Bouillon Stock

6 Fresh Beetroot

2 Cabbage Leaves

2 Medium Leeks

2 Celery Stalks with leaves

1 Medium Onion

2 Tbsp Butter

1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

½ Glass Red Wine

Pot Sour Cream

2 Tbsp Plain Flour

6 Black Peppercorns


The first requirement is a good bouillon base. (This can be done in advance.)

Simmer the stock gently for 45 mins with the Cabbage leaves cut into pieces, the Onion chunked, the white parts of the Leeks chunked, the Celery chunked and its leaves chopped, and 6 Black Peppercorns.

Allow to cool and strain into a separate pot.

Drop the whole Beets into a pan of boiling water and cook until they can be pierced with the point of a knife. Remove and place in a bowl of cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Now the skins should just slip off.

Chop 1 of the beets finely and cover with the ½ glass of Red Wine in a small bowl. (This will add the rich colour later.)

Dice the remaining Beets.

Melt the Butter in a large saucepan and add the diced Beets stirring them for 2-3 minutes until they are well coated with the Butter.

Add the Red Wine Vinegar, cover and simmer gently for about 30 mins or until the Beets are just tender.

Bring the Bouillon up to boiling point.

Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of Plain Flour onto the Beets and carefully blend with a wooden spoon, avoiding lumps.

Continue stirring and start to add the Bouillon a ladle at a time until the Beets are covered with a creamy bubbling sauce.

At this stage they may need 5 mins simmering.

The Beets should still be slightly crisp when served.

Now add the bowl of chopped Beet and Red Wine and the rest of the Bouillon.

*At this point if you want to serve the soup cold you should take the pot off the heat and chill by standing the saucepan in a sink of cold water. Then when cool, refridgerate until required, adding the Sour Cream just before serving.*

If serving hot, put a ladle of Sour Cream into a bowl and thin with a ladle of hot soup adding to the Borsch. Keep doing this until the desired colour and softness have been achieved.

Season to taste and serve with fresh crusty bread. (And a glass of Vodka!!!)


Matron said...

You will get into trouble with the blogger police for 'deflowering' your herbs Captain! I almost got cut off for talking about my tits!

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